What Motivates Your Customers?

You’re busy. Customers are busy. So what slows them down just enough to shop in your store?

Customers today have a lot of options when it comes to purchasing almost ANYTHING these days. It’s up to you to support them in their unique needs, and  that means understanding what motivates them to want to 1) shop and 2) buy. The real catch? Making sure these decisions are made with your store in mind.

Customer Like Convenience 

Depending on your audience – whether tweens, soccer moms, retired men or someone in between –  it’s important to identify what convenience truly means to your target market. First thing is first now. Is your store open during the times this audience has available to shop? Many indie owned stores close their doors at 5 or 6 for the same reason many customers like to shop at 5 or 6 or even later. It’s finally “their time” after a long day of work, and like you, they want to do what they either HAVE to do (such as pick up kids or run an errand) or WANT to do (possibly shop, entertain or go home).  If your audience is an after 5 crowd, identify if you are supporting them in their available shopping hours enough. Another thought? Weekend hours. Like most folks, it’s nice to have family time on the weekends or even just “you” time on the weekends. But consumers today use Saturday and Sunday to shop, as well. Is your store available for them  to shop from you?

Customers Like Cozy 

The word comfortable is defined by Wikipedia as “a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship.” In an effort to support your customers, how are you providing them an easy, comfortable experience for them to shop? Are your displays intimidating to touch? Are items too high, too low or blocked by any barriers for customers to engage with? Do you offer cozy spots for customers to relax, put their bags down, try clothes / footwear / accessories on? Is space too tight for customers to ease through fixtures and around your store? Remember – your goal here is to avoid any shopping “hardship” – which will directly influence your sales.

Customers Like Other Customers 

An empty store can be a distraction for customers. When they are alone, they often feel obliged to chat, buy or may even want to simply leave your store. The saying of “the more, the merrier” is very true when it comes to shopping. Now don’t misunderstand… there are exceptions to every rule. Many customers enjoy the quiet of a store without anyone else shopping in it. But for many customers, there is a preference to shop in stores that have other customers or activity taking place (just go to your local mall for an example of this). To help accomplish this, schedule special events, trunk shows and other promotional events to help lure many customers into your store at once. Encourage customers to invite friends, as well, while also supporting other local businesses in their special events. For example, if your community is having a festival, schedule some store promotions around it. Leave your doors open – weather permitting – for a welcomed feel. The idea is to get multiple shoppers into your store at once.

Finally, get to really know your customers. Listen to their feedback and suggestions, provide a box for comments to anonymously be shared, create a customer Advisory Board and welcome change for your store as your customers demand change. As a result? More motivated customers to shop in your store.

Another thought to share: 

“Sales without Customer Service is like stuffing money into a pocket full of holes.”  – David Porter

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